SBCA last week filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission in an attempt to prevent Chicago from enforcing an ordinance that regulates the placement of satellite dishes, blocking residents from installing dishes that are visible from the street. The FCC is already studying another such law, enacted by Philadelphia. In its petition, SBCA argued that the laws are unenforceable and will cost "tens of thousands of jobs" in the satellite industry.
DIRECTV has formed a partnership with Customer Service Cos. to expand its buyer protection and technical support program beyond satellite receiving components to include a variety of electronics that subscribers can use to watch the service, including PCs and tablet computers. The DIRECTV Protection Plan Premier "extends the value of our traditional DirecTV Protection Plan to provide a more comprehensive and complete package offering for our customers," said DIRECTV executive Vice President Mike Palkovic. DIRECTV also said it would begin shipping DVRs to hotel chains to give guests the ability to record shows as they are watching them, as well as pause or rewind programs.
DISH says it will offer the Pandora Internet music service through its Hopper whole-house DVR equipment in a move that will let customers compile streamed "personalized radio stations" on their TVs. With the Hopper service, which DISH launched last month, subscribers can store as much as 2,000 hours of video content and can pause a show in one room and continue it in a second one.
Traditional consumer electronics retailers that don't find ways to adjust to the era of online competition are at risk of disappearing, according to market analyst Canalys. "CE retailers now offer very few benefits to consumers. They appeal to the rapidly shrinking proportion of people who are unable or unwilling to shop online," said principal analyst Alastair Edwards.
Startup NimbleTV is launching a test of a service to allow pay-TV customers to transfer all of a subscription's programming online for streaming. The service is akin to a virtual version of Slingbox, which allows users to access their DVR content, but NimbleTV doesn't require boxes, according to this article. NimbleTV hopes to avoid the litigation that has embroiled Aereo, a startup that streams broadcast content, by acting as an "agent" for users who are subscribing to cable or satellite plans.
The House voted largely along party lines to approve a plan by Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., to cut small-business taxes by 20%. Democrats objected to the measure's $46 billion cost and said it primarily would help wealthy taxpayers. Both parties are staking out tax-policy positions ahead of the fall election.
Although Advantage Satellite has been in operation for only about one year, Ken Baskett, its president, has a lot of experience in the retail industry. After semi-retiring and spending more than 10 years as the owner of a chain of ACE Cash Express check-cashing stores in Idaho and Oregon, he still owned a small rental strip mall with one vacant spot to fill. One of Baskett's friends, a Clear master dealer, suggested that they begin a retail store for Clear Internet. From there, Advantage Satellite blossomed, and eventually Baskett started to offer satellite services. Read the full story.
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There are three cures for ennui: sleep, drink and travel.
D.H. Lawrence, British novelist
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